The largest monastery of Lefkada, Faneromeni Monastery has old traditions, a nice garden with mini zoo, interesting local museums and beautiful church. It was built on a hill near Lefkada town, from where amazing sea views can be seen to Agios Ioannis beach. Faneromeni Monastery is one of the best local sights, because it presents for visitors the religious life of Lefkada island since medieval ages, the garden is well kept with a lot of flowers and trees, and the museums and the tiny zoo can be interesting for everyone.
Where to find
The access of Faneromeni Monastery is very easy: it is located just 4 kilometers away from Lefkada town, and can be reached from the main road which leads between the capital and Agios Nikitas. Other significant villages near the monastery are Frini and Tsoukalades, which are situated also in the north hills. The parking lots were built just a few meters from the west gates of Faneromeni Monastery, which can be used free of charge. Its worth to know that the largest monastery of Lefkada has two entrances, but at the north entrance there are no parking places due geographical conditions.
Before you enter the building complex, please don’t forget to dress modestly.
The history of Faneromeni Monastery and its surroundings dates back to ancient times. Local legends tell that thousands of years ago the inhabitants of Lefkada built a temple on this hill, which was dedicated to Greek Goddess Artemis. In the Greek mythology Artemis was described as a daughter of the mighty Zeus, who is a Goddess of hunt, forests and animals. Two thousands years ago Apostle Paul sent three of his disciples to Lefkada island to spread Christianity in the world, and one of them built a church over the ruins of the ancient temple. According the scriptures the founder of the church, Sosion became the first bishop of Lefkada.
Faneromeni Monastery has been rebuilt several times over centuries, because fires and earthquakes caused serious damages to the buildings. The name of the monastery, “Faneromeni” originates from the Greek word “Fanerono (Φανερώνω)”, which means “reveal”.
What to see
By visiting Faneromeni Monastery in Lefkada travellers can meet many sights in one place. Outside the walls a small zoo was constructed for birds, turtles deers and squirrels. The small zoo is known as ‘the Ark’, where the cages of the animals are surrounded by lush vegetation. This tiny place is the only zoo in Lefkada, and can be interesting for small children.
Inside the walls can be find the garden the monastery, where dozens of flowers grow next to the sidewalks. The atmospheres are peaceful here, most of the visitors walk around quietly and respect this holy place. The main church preserves a lot of sacred icons and frescoes, its interior is beautiful and it’s worth to walk into the building to look around.
The bell tower of Faneromeni Monastery was built in the north section, where the other entrance can be find. This place offer amazing views to Agios Ioannis beach and to the north side of Lefkada, where the old windmills are located. The entrance to the famous museums of the monastery is also here, where the Ecclesiastical Museum and the Maritime Museum of Lefkada are open for visitors. The museums are exceptional sights in Lefkada, due to the uniqe collections, which introduce the religios life of the island and a lot of naval curiosities.
The Museums in Faneromeni Monastery
The museums Faneromeni Monastery belong to the best attractions in Lefkada: the exhibitions can be viewed in 3 different floors. The largest local exhibition with its two floors is the Ecclesiastical Museum (Εκκλησιαστικό Μουσείο Ιεράς Μονής Φανερωμένης in Greek), where hundreds of religious objects are preserved. The exhibiton includes relics not just from the past of the monastery, but from other smaller churches and monasteries of Lefkada island. In the collection there are presented many individual relics, silver and gold-plated objects, wooden carvings, hundreds of years old icons and bibles from Byzantian era.
The other local museum, known as Nikos Thanos Morinas Maritime Museum (Ναυτικό Μουσείο Νίκου Θάνου “Μορίνα” in Greek) is located under the Ecclesiastical Museum in the basement. The exhibition is dedicated to introduce dozens of ship miniatures, most of these are hand crafted. Behind the glass showcases you can meet miniatures of legendary ships, such as the Papanikolis submarine, the mighty Titanic, or the famous ships of the great explorer, Christopher Columbus. In this small museum there are not just miniatures, but other things, which are related to shipping: old navigation tools, telescopes, sextants, or the clothes of a ship crew. The Maritime Musem in Lefkada was founded by Nikos Thanos Morinas, an important member of Lefkada Philharmonic Society.
These small, but important museums of Lefkada can be visited free, there are no entry fees or ticket prices.
- 5 km west from Lefkada town
- Facilities: Maritime Museum, Ecclesiastical Museum, shop, mini zoo, toilette, parking lot
- Accessibility: by car (asphalt road)
- Entrance Fee: free
- discreet clothing is required
The photos of Faneromeni Monastery with the best sights of the building complex.